Hell In A Bucket Althea C C Rider Cumberland Blues My Brother Esau When Push Comes To Shove Beat It On Down The Line -> Greatest Story Ever Told Don't Ease Me In -> The Music Never Stopped
China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider Saint Of Circumstance Ship Of Fools Estimated Prophet Eyes Of The World Drums * Iko Iko ** Man Smart (Woman Smarter) ** Stella Blue Throwing Stones Not Fade Away
August 13, 2017 Subject:
Night before adages non-additive
There was this adage that NYE was the wild party, but the night before was the hot show, musically. While the NYE show is actually the better show this year, I recall this was still the show that left no doubt in my mind that Jer was "back". There was this weird belief that Jer was indestructible after he made the late-86 recovery but, looking back, were we just crossing our fingers that the scene would never end? That we would never age (both the golden scene hidden in ReaganAmerica and ourselves)? That youth makes one think others are indestructible, via extension? Being selfish? Not that I could handle a whole run now anyway... In interviews at the time he had stated that things were a bit foggy here and there but on the other hand he surprised himself. This was a night with some fog (inside and out!) but also some surprises, in a venue that was comparatively intimate at 5000 seats (and probably the hardest-to-get tix with which I was ever involved).
First Set. Hell in a Bucket is a very fiery, snarly version with dynamics - no warm-up here. It's not the era's tightest Althea but it does have some of the song's coolest lead work, intertwined w/psychedelic Bobby-isms. This was the end of See, See Rider being in rotation and the Cumberland Blues is 1 of 4 in '86 and perhaps the best. It's also perhaps the best My Brother Esau...ever. It was rarely this pat. This is the fifth When Push Comes to Shove (we didn't know what it was called for sure). Though nursery-rhymey, these are, in retrospect, some of Hunter's best lyrics. Little did I know how sick of this song I'd become in the next few years (of the fifty versions, seems I saw almost all of them!). It came off as plodding so often and Jer seemed to have a mouthful, but here's what it was supposed to be. It's always funny on the SBD to hear the boys deliberating the beats for Beat it on Down the Line-30.
Bobby: Beat it on Down the line into Greatest Story
Phil: No, 30. Today's the 30th.
Jer: Ha ha, alright, 30 - let's do it!
Bobby's voice then starts going out - with half a show to go plus NYE. There are only 8 Dough Knees in '86 and they hadn't used it since July, but this side of the set then flags.
Second set. An almost-two-hour set, it's average-to-a-little-rough. Saint of Circumstance is one of six in '86 (top of the mountain you can see far and wide). Ship of Fools is rough for the drummers but the solo soars. Estimated is labored until handed to Jer and Brent, who are having a better set than the rest. Eyes has a very nice segue-in. Uptempo, it then goes awry until Bobby jokes about finding the right key. Again it's Jer that kicks butt, though Phil comes alive here as well. The Jer-jams are the solid parts of the otherwise below-average rest. Hamza El-Din plays Tar for 18 freaking minutes, and with its Egyptian incantation it's not the best, second time around. The Nevilles come out for Iko Iko, slowly winding it up into a carnival-esque stomper. Near the end there's no question that Jer wants to convert it to Dewimmina, but there's a couple too many people vying without any one getting the drop-in. Some nights Jer really added theatricality to Stella - particularly in the late '80s. The playing is average though. Throwing Stones wasn't a good choice - Bobby's just not having a good set. He must have crashed hard to be in good shape for NYE. However, Not Fade Away erupts. Check between 2:35 and 3: 35 (on the scotton_miller_99638): insane! For Johnny B. Goode, the Nevilles come back like a "bat out of hell" again; a Bobby song, it doesn't quite gel.
1st Set: C+ 2nd Set: C
Overall = 2¾ stars
Hell in a Bucket - dynamics
My Brother Esau - one of the single best versions-- maybe top 10
Iko Iko - pwned by the Neville Brothers
Not Fade Away - party onstage works
The Barbarella source plays at the wrong pitch (2% fast). You want the Walker-scotton_miller_99638. It has the right pitch plus all completist patches.
April 15, 2016 Subject:
I appreciate reading the reviews from those who actually attended this show.
What I hear as somebody who is revisiting this quality Miller transfer soundboard, but didn't go to the show is one of the top shows of 86' with above average enthusiasm and sporadic segues than normal. Sure there's some bumpiness. Some of the first seters drag though you've gotta love all of Jerry's solos throughout the entire show. He's clearly leading the entire energy level and pace the whole time.
This version of "Eyes" soars above many, even with its initially hurried setup, the payoff is Garcia like he played as a young man, if not quicker than much of his mid 70s stuff.
Listen to the rawness of this show. Revisit Bobby's impromptu vocal reprise in "Music Never Stopped" that he rarely did with the Dead (if ever) and broke out years later with Ratdog, The Dead, Furthur, etc. Sure corny, but gotta love the retrospect of songs represented in this penultimate New Years show. Worth the full listen thru. X factor is present.
October 30, 2013 Subject:
Seems right up there with the other best-reviewed shows of '86 I've heard. For the uninitiated on '86 Dead, you wonder what the big deal is, but for what their goals were at this point in time, they nailed it.
Set 1 - not bad at all, with Jer leading the charge on Bucket and a clever placing of MNS *after* ol' dough knees. BIODTL has a 30-beat opening!
Set 2 - nothing terribly exciting until drums, when Hamza and the Nevilles come out to make this thing *fun*. It cooks zydeco-style and then, out of the blue, comes that Stella that trail_user below was raving about. Yeah, it really is a thing of beauty. It sounds like a months-polished studio rendering. Amazing, pin-drop perfection. This 2nd set really is worth hearing just for that Stella emerging, unfolding,a nd disappearing in a puff of smoke. But don't miss Jer's guitar solo on NFA, either!
Overall, yeah, it meets the '86 mark. If 12/15 was a jittery, emotional return for Jerry, this show leaves no doubt the Man was back. A good, solid sneak preview of those economically tight '87 nights.
December 16, 2011 Subject:
there's nothing you can hold for very long...
This recording absolutely captures the essence of the Robert Hunter masterpiece Stella Blue. From Bobby's haunting feedback to Brent's perfectly mixed keys to Phil's luscious bass lines, this night killed it. One of the best Stella Blue they ever played. Jerry was in the song like unlike anytime in the past. Check it out. A+